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Classic Album Review: Black Box Recorder | The Worst of …

The British alt-pop outfit collect some of their darkly twisted poison-pen letters.


This came out in 2001 – or at least that’s when I got it. Here’s what I said about it back then (with some minor editing):


Who They Are: English alt-pop trio whose darkly twisted, deliciously deviant sound is the aural equivalent of a David Lynch film — Disturbingly creepy, strangely detached and chillingly sensual, thanks to the bleak, Nico-like vocals of black widow femme-fatale frontwoman Sarah Nixey.

What You Get: A dozen musical tracks — assorted singles from their compelling albums England Made Me and The Facts of Life; covers of such diverse fare as Terry JacksSeasons in the Sun and David Bowie’s Rock ’n’ Roll Suicide; a remix by two members of Pulp — along with a quartet of CD-ROM videos.

Why You Should Get It: BBR’s poison-pen letter lyrics and menacingly malignant pop always vibrate and shimmer with woozy decadence, but never more so than on the seldom-seen video for Child Psychology, which contains the most memorable chorus of the past decade: “Life is unfair / Kill yourself or get over it.” No wonder it’s a seldom-seen video.